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Centrica to Look at States Such as Arizona, Ohio for U.S. Growth

Centrica Plc, planning to double profitability in North America over five years, will look to expand in U.S. states including Arizona and Ohio.

“There’s lots of growth in the northeast and Texas, which will remain core markets for us,” Badar Khan, 42, who will head the North American division, Direct Energy, from April 1, said today in a phone interview. “We’re constantly looking at the states where opportunities exist for us” such as Arizona and Ohio.

The company plans to grow in North America through building current customer bases and with acquisitions, the Windsor, U.K.- based company said yesterday in a strategy presentation.

Centrica has more than 5 million residential and business customers across the U.S. and Canada, according to its website.

North American adjusted operating profit rose 6 percent to 331 million pounds ($503 million) in 2012, it said yesterday. Centrica plans to boost global oil and gas output 70 percent to 75 million barrels of oil equivalent this year from 2009.

Part of the growth may come from buying unconventional U.S. assets such as shale gas and tight oil, Khan said, without identifying targets. He has been with Centrica since 2003.

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